Cy Twombly, Untitled (Lexington), 2009, wood, white paint, cardboard, yellow acrylic, plastic strings, 21 × 12 × 9 1/2 inches (53.3 × 30.5 × 24.1 cm) © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever
Cy Twombly (1928–2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1947-49); the Art Students League, New York (1950-51); and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1951–52). In the mid-1950s, following travels in Europe and Africa, he emerged as a prominent figure among a group of artists working in New York that included Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Major retrospectives were held at the Whitney Museum (1979); Kunsthaus Zürich (1987, traveled to Madrid, London, Düsseldorf, and Paris); and Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994, traveled to Houston, Los Angeles, and Berlin). In 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery opened at The Menil Collection, Houston, exhibiting works produced by Twombly since 1954. The European retrospective “Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons” opened at Tate Modern, London in 2008 and traveled to Bilbao and Rome. “Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007,” Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and “Sensations of the Moment,” MUMOK, Vienna (2009) were important surveys. In 2010, his permanent site-specific painting Ceiling was unveiled in the Salle des Bronzes at the Musée du Louvre. At the same time he was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by the French government. Twombly died in Italy in 2011.
Recent solo exhibitions include “Cy Twombly: Sculpture,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); “Cy Twombly Photographs 1951–2010,” Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2011); “Cy Twombly: Sculptures,” Philadelphia Museum of Art (2013); “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014); “Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil,” The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2014); “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” Ca' Pesaro, Venice (2015); and "Cy Twombly: Photographs," Gagosian Gallery, London (2015).